Had a head gasket issue at 125,000 miles, which was mishandled by mechanic, resulting in a cracked block. :( Had to replace engine - got a used one with 25,000 miles on it for $1000. Never had another problem, other than routine wear, such as CV boots, fuel filter, catalytic converter, etc.
Engine noise increased with heavy acceleration after about 200,000 miles, but what do you expect?
Several interior lights stopped working eventually (dome light, gear indicator light, etc) but I'm sure would have been easy to fix if I had cared.
I LOVE this car! My family talked me into getting a new car in 2007, and I love it, but I still miss my Tercel. I couldn't sell it for any amount of money, so I gave it to a friend, who is still driving it. It must have close to 260,000 miles on it now, and of their two cars, it is still the "reliable" one they use for road trips.
And I was not nice to that car - I drove it hard! I bought it when I was in high school, a year after I got my license. I used it to deliver pizzas. I took it on countless 600-plus mile road trips, and one from Seattle to San Diego and back. I used it to move several times. I had muddy dogs in it. I start fast, and I stop fast. I'm horrible about changing the oil, and I think I got a tune-up maybe twice the whole eleven years I owned it.
Someone tried to steal it several times, and each time (including the one when they completely removed the steering column cover and hot-wired it) the steering wheel locked and thwarted them.
It handled ten times better than my 2007 Mazda 3 in the snow. With chains on, you'd think it was AWD.
The seats showed very little wear, even from the dogs.
Anytime something did need fixed, it was never more than $200 at the most to fix it (except the engine issue mentioned above). Used parts were readily available at junkyards, and new parts were easy to come by as well.
And the gas mileage!!! The last road trip I took in it (at twelve years old and 240,000 miles), it got 40 mpg on the freeway! Hybrids don't actually get that kind of gas mileage!
I loved that little car like a family member, and still do. I vowed that I would never let it die - if my friend ever doesn't want it anymore, I will take it back in a heartbeat.